Roman Catholics

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Environmental Justice Program

The Environmental Justice Program (EJP) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) began in the fall of 1993 and is located within the Department of Social Development and World Peace (SDWP).

EJP seeks to educate and motivate Catholics to a deeper reverence and respect for God’s creation, and to engage parishes and dioceses in activities aimed at dealing with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor. EJP acts as a resource for Catholic dioceses and state Catholic conferences, and through them Catholic parishes.

Its distinctively Catholic foundation lies in Pope John Paul II’s 1990 World Day of Peace message and the U.S. Catholic bishops’ statement, Renewing the Earth, issued in 1991.

Key Affiliation
EJP has close ties to the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) and relies on the partnership to provide resources and support for many of its ongoing initiatives as outlined below.

EJP focuses on four activities to advance the mission of the program:

> Scholarship > Leadership Development > Public Policy/Advocacy > Special Projects

Official Letters and Statements on the Environment
With the guidance of the U.S. Catholic bishops, EJP is active in the public policy arena advocating for environmental policies which protect the poor, promote environmental health and safety, ensure that the right to private property is balanced with the claims of the common good, and promotes sustainable environmental and economic development.

> Public Policy Overview

> Policy Archives

> Bishops' Statements

> Regional Bishops' Statements


Related Articles
Catholic scholars continue to explore the unique and important contributions that our faith tradition can have on environmental questions and environmental ethics. Two important articles are offered here:

> The Good Life from a Catholic Perspective:The Problem of Consumption,
    by Monsignor Charles Murphy
> An Ecological Spirituality, by Reverend Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ